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Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game is as absurd as you’d expect, for all the right reasons

Faithful to the source material and exceptionally wacky as a result, I can’t believe Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game wasn’t conceived sooner.

A Killer Klown and a human being targeted by the Cotton Candy Raygun are shown on either side of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space The Game logo
Image credit: IllFonic Publishing

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 movie directed by the Chiodo Brothers, and it has been hailed a cult classic ever since - for good reason! It’s easily one of the goofiest horror-comedies of the era, taking viewers to the town of Crescent Cove, where unsuspecting inhabitants mistake a UFO for Halley’s Comet.

This UFO doesn’t contain the aliens you’d expect, though. Instead, violent Killer Klowns emerge, and you certainly won’t forget them in a hurry.

In 2024, IllFonic and Teravision Games have both worked closely alongside the Chiodo Brothers to turn this cult classic into a 3v7 asymmetrical horror game - Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game.

I’ve always been rather vocal about my low expectations when it comes to asymmetrical horror games. This isn’t the result of playing ‘bad’ games by any means; most of them are, honestly, pretty good, but they don’t have the pizzazz that makes me want to return to them. I’ve spent hundreds of hours with Dead by Daylight, and even enjoyed Friday the 13th and VHS once upon a time, but after seeing so many games crop up in the genre that don’t actively offer anything new or refreshing compared to their competitors, I’ve grown tired. Even Dead by Daylight, with its neverending plight to balance the game and keep players hooked (literally) with new licensed characters, has lost my interest over the course of time.

IllFonic and Teravision Games have certainly tried something different with Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game, and during my time previewing the game with the team, they were keen to acknowledge these qualms. At first glance, it appears that the team has looked at its prior games - Ghostbusters: Spirit Unleashed and Predator: Hunting Grounds - as well as its competitors to see what worked well and what it can do differently. Most importantly, the developer has attempted to address what it can do to keep players returning to the game, rather than expecting them to constantly play it.

Both developers see Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game as a stepping stone of sorts. It doesn’t expect players to want to play the game constantly, and instead hopes that players will simply have fun, and consider returning to it between visits to other games - entire worlds - on their roster, or in the genre. And if any game from IllFonic is going to show players what the team - alongside Teravision - are capable of, it’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game.

Three Killer Klowns are shown standing side by side in Killer Klowns from Outer Space The Game
Image credit: IllFonic Publishing

In my short time playing the game, I was able to experience both a Killer Klown POV, as well as what it’s like to play as a human. The first thing that becomes apparent when I step into the oversized shoes of Jumbo, the first Killer Klown we see in the film, is how true the game is to the source material. Crescent Coven is vibrant and a real joy to explore, with Klowns able to equip the wacky array of items they boasted in the films. That’s right, there’s a Cotton Candy Raygun that turns humans into candy (whose corpses are then used to slowly start a Klownpocalypse), a Popcorn Bazooka to obliterate humans with, and even that sentient Balloon Dog from the film - who helps the Klowns track down victims - is present. There’s even the Pizza Box ability that Klowns can unlock, allowing them to disguise themselves as an unsuspecting tasty treat, only to surprise and attack their prey.

If you’re a fan of the cult classic film, there’s a lot of joy to be derived from seeing all the iconic items and tools actively used by your opponents and allies in-game. But even then, without knowledge of the film, there’s no denying that the appearance of a Balloon Dog or Popcorn Bazooka is bound to entertain players. It’s all so silly that I am honestly surprised nobody thought to try and turn Killer Klowns from Outer Space into a game any sooner, and I am so glad that someone finally did. I’m even more glad to hear that film directors, the Chiodo Brothers, have been onboard throughout the whole process. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll finally see that Killer Klowns from Outer Space sequel one day…

A Klown sniffs out human survivors using a sentient Balloon Dog inside an arcade in Killer Klowns from Outer Space The Game
Image credit: IllFonic Publishing

Playing as a human also has its perks, and one of the main things that pleasantly surprised me was the fact that you can fight back against the Klowns. There’s hiding spots galore, items you can throw or interact with to cause a distraction, and most importantly, weapons you can use to beat a pursuing Klown to a pulp - which means looting. This is something I found incredibly valuable to a game like this, where Klowns can easily overwhelm remaining survivors as they try to unlock exits. Being able to swing at them with a baseball bat or stun them with an air horn definitely provides the player with a level of satisfaction that frankly, we’ve needed for a long time in this type of game. And, of course, who doesn’t love looting every box or crate they see? I sure do, especially when I know a weapon could be near… It makes the mindless running around that these games often feature feel a little more valuable.

On top of that, players who have succumbed to the Cotton Candy Raygun can be revived by their allies, which is a neat touch. In addition, those who are deceased and waiting for the match to end - or to be revived - need not twiddle their thumbs until it’s all over. During this time, players can actually complete minigames - which consist of memory tests, basketball, and more - to keep them entertained, and this isn’t all in vain. Successfully completing minigames rewards the deceased player with cards to choose from, and depending on what they choose, an item will be given to the living player that they’re spectating to help them with staying alive and moving things along.

While I fell in love with how gorgeous Crescent Cove looked, the wacky arsenal that Klowns are provided with, and the ability to beat up Klowns as a human player, it’s the minigames between deaths - that aid living players - that were the icing on the cake for what IllFonic and Teravision are trying to do here. The teams have clearly looked at the qualms players have had with other games in the genre and actively worked on them to provide an all-encompassing experience in Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game, and I certainly look forward to seeing how the full release goes down on June 4, 2024. I do fear that the game’s appeal may be limited to Killer Klowns’ fans, but here’s to hoping a whole new audience takes the plunge, because I truly think this could be quite the blast.


Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game was previewed on PC with a code provided by the publisher. It will be released on June 4, 2024, for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.

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